Independent Spirit Awards bring Hollywood to the Beach By Janell Martin

Glenn Close at Spirit Awards

Each year, the day before the Academy Awards, some of Hollywood’s most talented actors, producers, writers, directors etc. head to the beach in Santa Monica. However, they are not there to suntan or go on the rollercoaster on the pier. Rather, they are attending the Independent Spirit Awards, the one award show dedicated to celebrating independent films and filmmakers. An Independent film requires the budget to be under $20 million, which may seem like a lot to the average person, but per Hollywood standards it’s not, plus the film cannot be made by a major motion picture studio. Err-go, independent.

By mid-day, amid cold temperatures and windy weather, the spirit on this award show’s ‘blue carpet’ was anything but blue. I especially enjoyed speaking with Tyne Daly, the star of  Bread Factory, as she truly embodies Hollywood grace with a pleasant and charming demeanor.  The legendary John Waters, who directed the show, stopped to chat and he was, without question, funny and interesting.  Glenn Close, who won this evening for Best Female Lead in The Wife, made time to stop and speak with every reporter, a quality I found truly classy and remarkable. More importantly, she brought her dog Pip along as her plus one, and I think he stole the carpet.

I would have liked to have spoken to Regina King, who won for Best Supporting Female for If Beale Street Could Talk, and Alfonso Cuaron who won for Best International Film for Roma, but sadly I missed catching them on the blue carpet. However, I loved speaking with Roma star Marina de Tavira who is as lovely as she is breathtakingly beautiful. And Boots Riley, who won for Best First Feature for his film Sorry to Have Bothered You, is a dynamic, impassioned man trying to make a difference in our world. Boots, if you are reading this, I also loved your fashion sense!  And Rosana Arquette for the nominated Hale County This Morning, is a woman who has always pushed the boundaries in her craft, and I was thrilled to meet her as I have always admired her work.

Independent filmmakers are producing some of the best movies that we, the audience, get to view. When talented people are allowed to create and tell stories that impassion their hearts, the results are truly remarkable. This sense of freedom, pride and passion are some of the reasons that this awards show, is one of the best of the season.

Congratulations to all the winners, the nominees, and to all those who continue to challenge our world making movies that make a difference.

By Janell Martin


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